First Impressions: Tamako Market

tamako_01_title

Anime Original by Kyoto Animation
Simulcast on The Anime Network

Premise: Tamako already leads a busy life attending high school, spending time with her friends in the baton club, and helping out at her family’s mochi shop, but her life may get even more hectic after finding an incredibly peculiar talking bird.

How long before the baton club clashes with the light music club?

Jel’s Verdict: Buyer’s Market

OK I apologize for the easy pun but Tamako Market has a lot to offer, perhaps almost too much as there’s quite a bit going on. I do love the idea of using a shopping district for an ensemble cast but we’ve got inter-store rivalries, potential romances, tragic pasts, baton twirling clubs, imoutos with attitude, a talking bird trying to find a bride for some mysterious prince… there’s a lot of ground to cover. At the center of it all is the almost sickeningly sweet Tamako and our aforementioned bird friend who brings just the right amount of humor and general weirdness to keep this from being another average slice of life show.

The question is will all those all those elements stay balanced while still getting the appropriate amount of attention? For that we will have to wait and see. You can tell Tamako shares the same principal staff as K-ON! as the characters are insufferably adorable, the jokes are safe and clean, and scenes occasionally linger on past their welcome. Of course that also means the show looks and sounds fantastic, but that’s pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Kyoto Animation. As a rare original series, this is an opportunity to prove they can do more than that, and while I think they can succeed I’ll have to see it first.

Despite my slight bout of uncertainty though, I really did enjoy this first episode and I’m very excited to see what direction they go with the series as a whole. As incredibly sweet and fun as things have started, after watching Chuu2 last season I don’t think anything would surprise me. Tamako Market certainly has plenty to work with and I hope they can make the most of it.

Sexiest Anime of the Year

Lifesong’s Verdict: I’ll bite

Tamako Market is cute and funny. This anime has an odd sense of goofy originality that seems sure to appeal to both otaku and the larger masses with ease. Dera Mochimazzi is the real star here. This bird from another world is just bizarre enough to add a touch of another world fantasy without derailing the story too far from the real world it is supposedly based in. This bird is supposedly a member of the royal entourage of some royal kingdom. He has been sent on a mission to find a finance for his king? Something like that, anyway I get the sense that he is entirely telling the truth which makes me excited to see how this story will unfold. Also, Tamako apparently has two childhood friends who seem to be in love with her, one of each gender. So far her harem consists of a these two friends, a fat talking bird from another universe and maybe a prince from another world as well? I am not really sure what is going on, but I can’t wait to find out.

Marlin’s Verdict: Cute, but is there enough?

I definitely wont say I didn’t enjoy this first episode. Our main character is typical KyoAni cute and the story does have some charm to it. Perhaps it’s because I’ve just been spoiled by the high quality of their last two offerings that I’m finding question with this one. Like Jel said, there is definitely the potential for a lot of different ways they can approach this story. While Tamako seems so strong, is it all genuine or is she trying to hide the pain of a lost mother? Knowing how Chuu2 turned out I can see them trying to pull another drama on us. Still, knowing the writer it could just be a cute story about a family and their run in with a magic cockatoo.

Nichijou faces are always a good idea

Zigg’s Verdict: Genre fatigue?

I was a little conflicted about this first episode, which is odd because I normally fall pretty squarely on the side of KyoAni. This had some great stuff to recommend it, such as the quirky presence of Dera, the interesting market setting that affords us what looks to be a decent ensemble to play with and the typically fine animation, yet it left me a little cold, for reasons I’m puzzling over. It might perhaps be that I feel the character of Dera should be cranked a little bit more into the self-consciously wacky arena, though that’s just a matter of personal taste.

I think that bland characterisation might be an issue as well – everybody seems super-duper nice and Tamako herself is bland as white rice – that is, not offensive, but she doesn’t do anything to distinguish herself either.  I think I’m tiring of KyoAni’s generically cute, charming girls, and any scene where Tamako was hanging out with her two friends sent me to sleep instantly.  The characters are very K-ONish looking too, and that’s a little off putting to me at least. I don’t want to sound like I hated the show, because I did genuinely enjoy it, but it’s going to have to work a little harder to get me on board. Super intrigued by those last few seconds though. Projector eyes is exactly the sort of weirdness I can dig. Also, I’ve decided this can’t be anime because they actually wear knee-length skirts.

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